With hundreds of thousands of outlets around the world and serving millions of coffee orders each day, Starbucks has become a pop culture mainstay. The confusing sizes is one of the most iconic features of Starbucks, comparable to the unique Starbucks experience of the baristas never getting your name right.
Their large menu and sweet drinks draw in a big crowd but ordering at Starbucks can be daunting- there are so many options to choose from and almost endless customizations. First though, you need to figure which size you want. Starbucks cup sizes range from small to extra-large and not every size means what you think it means! Here’s a handy guide to the Starbucks cup sizes in order, whether you want iced coffee, lattes, or a nitro brew.
What Are The Sizes at Starbucks?
Let’s analyze our options, from the smallest Starbucks drink sizes to the largest.
The Short is the smallest Starbucks size coming in at 8 ounces. This drink size usually contains one shot of espresso. This size is only available for hot drinks like a Flat White but since it’s not commonly displayed on the menu, many people may not know it exists. This is the perfect size if you want to limit your coffee intake or just need a small pick-me-up.
This size was one of the first introduced when Starbucks started but as the chain’s popularity grew, the short size was gradually shifted to the ‘secret’ menu. You just have to ask the barista for a short if you don’t see it displayed on the menu.
Confusingly, the second smallest Starbucks size is called a Tall and contains 12 ounces. This is the original size offered by Starbucks when it opened shop and it remains on the regular menu. Most Tall drinks have 1 shot of espresso, except the Americano which has 2 shots. You can always ask for an extra shot of espresso in your drink if you want more caffeine, otherwise a tall drink has the same caffeine content as a short drink but with more milk or other additions.
Since it contains 12 ounces, the tall size is about 2 standard cups of coffee which come in at 6 ounces. Both hot drinks like a latte and cold drinks like iced coffee are available in this size. If you go to Starbucks and ask the barista for a small, this is the size you will be served.
Grande, which means ‘large’ in many languages, is actually the Starbucks medium size and measures 16 ounces. Grande drinks have 2 espresso shots, except the Grande Americano which has an astonishing 3 shots (now you know what to get on long days and extra-sleepy mornings). A Starbucks Grande size is available for both hot and cold drinks. This used to be the largest size available at Starbucks until the introduction of the venti option.
The Starbucks Venti size is probably the most confusing since there are two variations on this size. Venti means ‘20’ in Italian and refers to the 20 ounces you get with this size. However, this is only the case for Venti hot drinks which have 2 shots of espresso. Venti cold drinks are 24 ounces, as they have an extra third shot of espresso. As usual, the Venti hot Americano is an exception and has an unbelievable 4 shots of espresso.
The venti is one of the most iconic cup sizes at Starbucks and also one of the most confusing for customers who expect the naming system to conform to normal size naming conventions. Venti cold drinks are quite popular on social media.
Trenta, meaning ‘30’ in Italian, is the largest Starbucks size with a capacity of 30 ounces. This size was introduced in 2011 and is only available for cold drinks like cold brew and iced coffee. Sadly, this size isn’t available for any hot drinks or for Frappuccinos and iced espresso beverages. This is a huge cup so order accordingly.
The demi size clocks in at a tiny 3 ounces per cup and is essentially just an espresso shot. The size name is a shortened form of the French word 'demitasse' which means half-cup. This coffee size is ideal for double shot of espresso or for a macchiato.
What Is a Medium At Starbucks?
Remember, the names of Starbucks cup sizes can be misleading! The medium at Starbucks is the Grande, so if you step into Starbucks looking for a medium coffee, ask for a Grande.
How Many Ounces in a Grande Starbucks Cup?
A Grande Starbucks cup has 16 ounces and 1-2 shots of espresso. While the word 'grande' means large or big in many languages (including Italian, from where it was borrowed), at Starbucks this isn't the largest size but is the medium option.
How Many Ounces In a Venti Starbucks Cup?
Venti means 20, so this drink size contains 20 ounces of coffee for a hot drink and 2 shots of espresso. However, a cold drink in a Venti size has 24 ounces.
Do the bigger sizes have more caffeine?
Actually, no. If you notice, the Tall, Grande, and Venti all have 2 shots of espresso (with some exceptions for iced drinks, Americanos, and Flat Whites). This means they all have the same amount of caffeine, just that some have more of other ingredients that make the drink larger. If you want more caffeine in your drink, ask for an extra shot of espresso or order an Americano. There's technically no limit to how many shots you can add but don't go overboard!
Where Do Starbucks Cup Sizes Come From?
The origin of the Starbucks cup size system can be traced back to a trip to Italy undertaken by the former CEO, Howard Schultz. On his trip, he was enamored with Italian coffee culture and wanted to recreate it for an American audience. This inspired him to open his own coffee shop named Il Giornale and this small shop eventually expanded into the global Starbucks franchise.
Initially, there were only three drink sizes- short, tall, and grande. As the chain expanded and demand grew, the venti size was introduced which shifted the whole naming system one size up (tall became the smallest size, grande is the medium, and venti was now the largest).
Many people love Starbucks for its convenience and wide selection of drinks. If you find yourself confused about the Starbucks cup sizes, try to remember how the naming system works or speak with the baristas at the store to help you out. Enjoy your next Starbucks treat!